Kilpatrick plans ‘light touch’

| 09/09/2013

(CNS): The new Cayman Islands governor intends to operate with a light touch, she said as she was sworn into office Friday, using the same expression as her predecessor, Duncan Taylor. However, Taylor stated just beforehe left the islands that although that had been his intention, it did not turn out to be the case. In her speech to Legislative Assembly members and guests, Helen Kilpatrick also said that while it was her goal, it could change if necessary, as she emphasised the mantra of good governance. Admitting she had a lot to learn and speaking directly to the people, the twelfth governor of the islands and the first woman in that role said she would “work tirelessly to earn your trust”.

Having sworn to well and truly serve the people of the Cayman Islands, Kilpatrick said she was committed to a partnership between the islands and the UK to create a safe, successful and sustainable future for the country.

She said her priority was to get to know the people and the pressing issues that concern them, including the problem of crime, as she pointed to the recent reports of robberies and the increase in burglaries. Kilpatrick said she welcomed government's move to introduce standards in public life legislation before the year was out and said government needed to operate with “honest and integrity”. She singled out the environment and the rights of woman as areas of interest to her outside her direct areas of responsibility .

Although Kilpatrick is Cayman’s first female governor and only the second in Britain’s territories, it is her career history in the Home Office and local government in the UK, rather than the Foreign Office, which sets her apart from previous governors. However, while she noted her experience in public finances, she said that the stewardship of public money was a shared responsibility that stretched across the entire civil service.

Her first address in Cayman came following her arrival to pomp and ceremony at Owen Roberts International Airport on Cayman Airways. She was sworn in by Chief Justice Anthony Smellie and welcomed in the Legislative Assembly by Premier Alden McLaughlin and Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, who handed back the country's top post, having acted as governor since Taylor departed for Mexico.

Manderson picked up on some of the issues relating to the work ahead in the civil service and in particular the need for accountability.

“Your predecessor mentioned the need to improve accountability across the service. Although we have made significant progress in this area, we agree that more must be done and I look forward to discussing this matter with you and to seek your advice,” he said.

Following the formalities inside the LA, Kilpatrick inspected the police guard of honour before heading back to Government House. She then attended a special local reception at Pedro St James, with a taste of local hospitality and a chance to meet Caymanians outside of officialdom.

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Comments (17)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Aww, precious, such good intentions. Lets see how soon that tune will change!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Well, I sure glad she said d light touch ting she talkin bout cud change if necessary cuz wid d history round ya I sure she gine need change it and clamp down tight on sum a dem! Trus me on dat one BoBo!

  3. Anonymous says:

    A 'light touch'? Really? Now this should be interesting!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Welcome Your Excellency, we have been awaiting your arrival. Now that you are here be aware of the back-stabbers, two faced, fake people who operate right under your nose. Be astute Mam, trust none. Thats my bit of advice if you are to survive around here!

  5. Anonymous says:

    read the miller shaw report helen…….

    • Anonymous says:

      A little too familiar 13.05, the Governor has only just arrived and you wish to use first name terms?

      Light touch is the right way, steering the ship and calling the morals (or lack of) in certain decisions. One of the best presidents in the world these days is the Lithuanian one, Dalia Grybauskaite. She technically only has power over the armed forces and foreign policy ( a little like the Governor), however she has the moral high ground and calls every bad decision or bad proposal in a sentence normally consisting of no more than a few words, and the politicians are left to flounder in her wake. They don't know how to deal with her. Some politicians hate her of course (they cannot get away with their dodgy schemes), others love her and respect her. She still has an 80% public approval rating after 5 years.


      A lot could be learned.

      • Anonymous says:

        Funny, I don't see you complaining about the Premier being called "Alden". But suddenly, because she is a Brit we must show respect. What a double standard.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Franz, the best way to get accountability understood by the civil service is to fire a few to encourage the majority. This should have been done a long time ago to those seniors in Finance who could not or would not give the leadership necessary to produce governments accounts. We all know who they are but no one gets fired in the civil service because it is not allowed to put a Caymanian, no matter how senior or incompetent/lazy out of work. Until that changes, no accountability will ever be able to be introduced.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are telling this to Franz? The top civil servant? How many do you expect him to get rid of? Surely you meant to address this to Her Excellency, not him. That is if you expect anything to really be done about it!

      • Bruce says:

        these comments amaze me- why don't you do a FOI and determine how many persons are actually fired from the service…. the numbers might shock you. the difference between the civil service and private sector is that the private sector will just fire you because of the bottom line- the civil service actually cares about their employees. and we better care because its those same civil servants that you claim should be fired maybe called to save your life one day.

  7. Anonymous says:

    A new broom always sweep clean!


  8. Weapons Grade Bollocks says:

    Sorry but we need a highly engaged, activist Governor to handle our light fingered politicians.

    • Anonymous says:

      The last one of those we had – Stuart Jack – was a disaster as Governor.

  9. Knot S Smart says:

    We're off to a fresh start!

    First the election in May brought us new, clean, and fresh thinking…

    Now a new Lady Governor who looks really qualified…


    Why is that person who destroyed our finances and credibility still sitting in the L A? and when is it that they are planning to send him away again?

    Well. We are off to a fresh start – so we will just have to ignore 'our thorn', and appreciate our whole garden, and hope for the best…


    • J Salasi I. -111? says:

      Fresh fish in the market fresh fish. You better salt  ya fish from the market or season it well if not it going to rot, you know it beginning to smell a lot like fishi, just like the elections oops, Lady Governor will you too supervise the moving of boxes at the next election if you are here Mam.

  10. Anonymous says:

    If you listening Maam all you going to hear is two things a bunch of excuses from those in power and gunshots from the streets because their is no law and order and no order in the law out here but we worried bout who travelling and the premier says errry ting stable! The PPM i know this wasn't going workout with them incharge?

    • Caymanian Culture says:

      Careful Your Excellency, the crime is in the politics.  

      Go after the drug cartels (cronies of your politicians) that are big business owners here and you will solve our crme problem. Enforce Immigration (which is as loose as the wind) and stop the rubber stamping of white collar permits- get the 2,000 Caymanians back to work with vocational placemements, get the Caymanian college grads INTO the workplace, and cut the welfare handouts!

      The problem are the Politicians, Boards, and the people in charge.  PPM or UDP, the greed and power are thick as cement and it is time to run this place like the small county (we are) and not a Grand kingdom with a richly court.

      The silent majority are behind you.  Welcome.  Thank you for your service and good luck.